Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Weather -- Part 1: The Seasons

Our modern Western lifestyle insulates us from the effects of the seasons in many ways. Do to a global food supply chain I can drive to my local supermarket and get blueberries in December and most vegetables, many fruits, and fresh meat and fish 365 days a year. Lately the temperature has been 95-97 degrees-F (35-36 degrees-C) with 50-90% humidity, yet my air conditioned house is quite comfortable and the ground floor is kind of cold. And in winter my house is warm enough not to need to wear a warm coat or cloak. I'm not a farmer or a gardener so I neither sow nor do I reap.

None of these things are true for most humans throughout most of history. People in the past were very in touch with the seasons in a way few westerners are today.

An RPG set in a historical setting or a fantasy setting that emulates aspects of history should include seasonal variation that is visible and meaningful to the player characters. Well to all the characters, but as a GM I am most concerned with what impacts the PCs and their players.

I saw an interesting implementation of seasonal variation on the Hari Ragat Games blog. The campaign is set in what seems to be a mix of SE Asia with Micronesia and it features a lot of sea travel and raiding. Like that part of the world there are two main seasons, wet and dry, that are then divided based on prevailing winds. Each season has entries for Winds, Weather, and typical local Activities. It's an elegant, yet simple approach which seems well suited for a nautical campaign.

I'll have to do some reading, but something like that could work nicely for the Atlantic and Mediterranean sailing seasons.

No comments:

Post a Comment